“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” — Pablo Picasso
We’ve made it a week. If everything has gone as it’s supposed to, then you should be seeing 11,667 words by the end of the day. If things have gone really well, then you should have a comfortable pad for that day where you will, inevitably, not write a word. Do not panic; it’s natural for that to happen and it doesn’t have to derail you as long as you show up to page the day after that.
If things haven’t been going well and you’re already behind, don’t panic. First, we’re early enough in the game that you can make up that lost ground. I recommend NaNoWordSprints over on Twitter. The knowledge of a ticking clock can sometimes produce amazing results. Second, don’t let yourself walk away from the page. That doesn’t mean sitting in front of your computer and beating yourself up because the words won’t come. Take a walk. (It’s good for you.) Work on your Christmas knitting. (How many socks did you decide to try for this year?) Do something that will let your mind drift a little.
Think about your story. Try out a little dialogue out loud. If you’re out walking, you can use your mobile phone so it looks like you’re in the middle of a conversation. Play with the shape of the words. Remember, if they’re not on the page, you haven’t fully committed and they’re still malleable.
The point of this is to be open to inspiration when it appears. You’ll know the moment when it happens; your fingers will start itching and you’ll want to get back to that keyboard as quickly as you can. If the keyboard isn’t available, then you’re going to feel the urge to scribble words on on whatever surface is available, or use your tablet or record a voice memo to be transcribed later. Some of my favorite ideas have struck while I’m in the shower and the husband is no longer surprised by the sight of me dripping wet, frantically scribbling notes.
Build the habit. Be there at the page every day, make the effort whether you reach word count or not. If you do, then it’s amazing how easily inspiration knows where to find you. Go. Write.